The headlines in this week’s Loan Report are unfortunately of a negative nature as Todd Kane suffered a serious knee injury that both ends his season and significantly dents his chances of making a dream return to Chelsea.
It’s been a great season for full-back Kane, who had been an ever-present for Eredivisie upstarts NEC Nijmegen and developing into a prospect of some repute. Named the club’s vice-captain, his energetic and committed displays on the right of their back four had led to widespread interest from Dortmund, Ajax and beyond, and led to Michael Emenalo this week raising the possibility of his return to the Chelsea first team squad under Antonio Conte next season.
Unfortunately, an injury suffered late in Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat at PEC Zwolle turned out to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which will sideline him for a minimum period of six months. It’s desperately sad news for him and, even though he has the character and will to make light work of a lengthy recuperation period, it came at just about the worst possible time for him.
It was one of the quietest weeks on record in the Premier League as far as loanees go. Victor Moses got twelve minutes for West Ham against a Nathan Aké-less Watford in midweek before the Hammers then had the weekend off, as did Norwich City and Patrick Bamford.
They weren’t in action because it was FA Cup Semi Final weekend, where Aké returned to the Watford side that faced Crystal Palace at Wembley. He played fairly well but the Hornets were beaten 2-1.
Tomas Kalas and Middlesbrough are in a ridiculously tight three-way fight for promotion to the top flight as the Championship enters its final fortnight. The Czech defender only played one minute of a pair of draws this week that has now left Boro, Burnley and Brighton all level on 87 points, with Kalas and company facing Brighton on the final day of the season.
Michael Hector played a full match for Reading in a 2-1 defeat at home to Hull and then got the final twenty minutes off the bench in their 1-1 draw away to Queens Park Rangers, with Lucas Piazon an unused substitute on both occasions. John Swift, meanwhile, was able to return to the Brentford bench after three weeks out with a cut to his achilles but he didn’t see any action on the pitch away to Milton Keynes Dons.
Jordan Houghton and Plymouth are still fiercly contesting promotion from League Two; the Chelsea man played the entirety of their double-header this week at Leyton Orient and then at home to Dagenham & Redbridge, but a 3-1 win was followed by a 3-2 defeat despite battering their opponents, and the Pilgrims now need help if they are to go up automatically and not face the playoffs.
There was a clash of Blues youngsters at the Philips Stadion on Tuesday when PSV hosted Vitesse in another largely forgettable affair for the Arnhem side. Marco van Ginkel and co. ran out easy 2-0 winners against a Vitesse side that gave 90 minutes to Dominic Solanke, who worked hard without impacting the match all that much, and 10 minutes as a substitute to Lewis Baker, who was once again rather bafflingly left out. Izzy Brown was fit to return to the bench after a recent knock.
The Dutch Cup Final meant there was no Eredivisie action this weekend.
Andreas Christensen and Borussia Mönchengladbach returned to winning form on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim that keeps them in with a chance of Champions League football, something increasingly important to them as it appears more and more likely that Christensen will spend a second year on loan at the club. They lie a point adrift of Hertha Berlin with three games remaining, so it’s all to play for.
Papy Djilobodji came back from his three-match ban to play the full match for Werder Bremen at Hamburg. The Senegalese defender was booked and Bremen lost 2-1.
Charly Musonda was only a substitute in rare midweek La Liga action, coming on in the 53rd minute as Betis beat Las Palmas 1-0. He then started in the Seville derby and was at the centre of attention twelve minutes in when he skipped through three Sevilla tackles before going down in the box. He was booked for simulation and was pretty quiet after that, being substituted on 51 minutes as Betis succumbed to a 2-0 defeat.
Málaga appear to want Christian Atsu on loan again next season despite the Ghanaian’s injury-hit spell so far but only got 18 minutes against Rayo Vallecano this week, remaining on the bench throughout their 1-0 defeat away to Atlético Madrid.
Jeremie Boga’s Rennes hosted Mario Pašalić’s Monaco with the Croatian still out with a back injury, but Boga did come off the bench to good effect twenty minutes from time. It was his jink inside and shot that resulted in Giovanni Sio’s equaliser for the home team and earned them a share of the spoils.
Juan Cuadrado was rested in midweek as Juventus beat Lazio 3-0 to edge a step closer to a fifth straight league title, and only got two minutes away to former club Fiorentina in another win, 2-1, on Sunday.
Not even Napoli’s 6-0 win over Bologna afforded Nathaniel Chalobah a cameo appearance from the bench; he’ll be hoping for better on Monday night away to Roma. Stipe Perica, as usual, was an unused substitute for Udinese at home to Fiorentina and away to Inter.
Sint-Truiden drew 2-2 with Lokeren, Cristian Cuevas earning 90 minutes and a booking whilst Victorien Angban returned to the starting eleven and got 79 minutes under his belt. Joao Rodriguez wasn’t involved.
Kasimpasa were without the services of Kenneth Omeruo on Sunday and duly lost 4-1 at Galatasaray. There was also no Marko Marin for Trabzonspor at home to Fenerbahce.
There was no Alex Davey for Stabaek against Stromsgodset; he’ll hope to return on Monday away to FK Haugesund.
Better news from Sweden however, where Jamal Blackman kept his first clean sheet in senior football as Ostersunds continued their good start to Allsvenskan life with a 0-0 draw at Gefle.
Matej Delač still isn’t available for selection in the final stages of his own ACL recovery and, without him, FK Sarajevo lost their big local derby against Zeljeznicar to all but end their title hopes.
Wallace missed Gremio’s Copa Libertadores win over Toluca for an accumulation of yellow cards, but he returned for their 2-0 Campeonato Gaucho defeat away to Juventude, picking up another booking along the way.